23/10/2013 – Minister Deenihan launches a memoir ‘The Last Knight: A Celebration of Desmond Fitzgerald’ by Robert O’ Byrne

Wednesday 23rd October, 2013 Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht will this evening launch the memoirs of the Knight of Glin by Robert O’ Byrne in the City Assembly House on South William Street, Dublin at 5.30pm


Speaking in advance Minister Deenihan commented “Desmond Fitzgerald as President of the Irish Georgian Society worked tirelessly to ensure a future for the country’s architectural heritage. As an architectural and art historian, he was among the first to recognise and celebrate the work of Irish artists and craftsmen, bringing this to the attention of an international audience. These memoirs celebrate his many diverse achievements prior to his death in September, 2011.


The proceeds of this beautifully crafted book celebrating all aspects of Desmond Fitzgerald’s life will go towards the continued support of the Irish Georgian Society.


The venue for the launch of this book is the Dublin City Assembly House – phase 1 of the restoration programme for the house has now been completed. Minister Deenihan recalled being present in the house for the launch of the refurbishment programme in 2011.


The Assembly House is central to the cultural and political history of modern Dublin and it is fitting that the memoirs of the Knight of Glin who was so central to the history of the Irish Georgian Society be launched here. This was a collaborative engagement between the Irish Georgian Society and Dublin City Council to achieve the preservation of this wonderful building. Desmond would have delighted in seeing the progress made to date and knowing that the next phase of work is due to start in 2014.”  


Minister Deenihan also referenced the recent budget announcements.  The additional capital allocation of €5million for the Traditional Skills and Buildings at Risk Jobs Leverage Scheme 2014 and also welcomed the decision to extend the Living City Initiative to Cork, Galway, Kilkenny and Dublin – for all buildings built prior to 1915.


Minister Deenihan commented “This allocation of €5 million on heritage buildings is the most important investment in heritage buildings in Ireland in recent times.  This will allow for urgent repairs on protected heritage buildings to take place across the country, improving our heritage stock, adding to Ireland’s attractiveness as a place to live and work, and generating employment in the construction and skilled crafts trades.”


Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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